WASHINGTON, D.C. – The pattern of behavior colloquially referred to as “Value Investing” has been formally adopted by the American Psychiatric Association as a psychological ailment in their major publication the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Value Investing Spectrum Disorder (VISD) has been shown to affect up to one quarter of the investing population. Sufferers are identified by exhibiting a collection of symptoms, most notably: quoting Warren Buffett, obsession with calculating book values, detailing the flaws of the efficient market hypothesis, and giving The Intelligent Investor out as gifts to friends and family.
“We believe the disorder stems from a form of psychological delusion,” said DSM chief editor Dr. Farnuk Patel. “Cases of VISD appear to spring up when people adopt a belief that they can emulate the results of well-known investors by looking at Yahoo Finance and sorting stocks by P/E ratios. Patients truly believe that they will find stocks that haven’t already been identified by the thousands of value investing algorithms.”
The condition appears to be correlated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, with an overlap among the two disorders of over 80%. However, researchers are quick to avoid drawing conclusions that one condition necessarily indicates presence of the other.
“Narcissism is pervasive throughout the investing populace, so much so that one cannot easily define the difference between an active investor and a sufferer of NPD,” said APA head researcher Sigmund Fromm. “Nowhere is this relationship more established than in the population of FinTok. Thus, it is not surprising to find high levels of NPD among those suffering with VISD.”
According to the DSM, the main difference between NPD and VISD is how each disorder affects the individual’s quality of life. Narcissists are typically highly valued members of the investing community; they likely have normal families, well-paying jobs at major investment firms or highly subscribed YouTube channels, and they report higher levels of self-confidence than the population at large. Conversely, Value Investors are often punished by the market, typically married well below their league, and are often found dead with millions of dollars in their bank accounts but no life achievements to show for it.
Researchers and psychiatrists hailed the move as a long-awaited validation of practices already in use to identify and treat Value Investing.
“The establishment of the Value Investor spectrum helps psychiatry practitioners tease out people who are the most likely to endure the harshest outcomes of investing-based maladaptation,” said Dr. Miles Jones, lead psychiatrist at the New York Hospital for Market-Based Diseases. “We now have the greenlight to identify these people and get them the help and rehabilitation they need.”
Treatment for the disorder is not without its own controversies. Currently, the best practices include daily use of medical cocaine and visits to houses of ill-repute until the investor starts to show signs of increased risk taking on their own. The treatment has been effective in up to 90% of participants in clinical trials, but side-effects often require investors to take months off of work to recover. Currently, the Netherlands and the State of Nevada are the only locations that legally offer treatment to sufferers of VISD.